It’s easy to forget now, 40 years after the Fall of Saigon and freshly removed from the prospect of Iraq and Afghanistan lapsing into “another Vietnam,” that there was a time when many believed that escalation in Vietnam was the right thing to do. Among the prominent voices who felt that way were the editors of TIME who, 50 years ago today, on May 14, 1965, published an influential essay backing the President’s decision to step up the ground campaign in Asia. It was, the headline proclaimed, “The Right War at the Right Time”:
Anticipating counterarguments, the essay swatted away objections. An American offensive wouldn’t be interfering with a civil war because Communism was a worldwide issue. South Vietnam’s continued fighting was indication that they wanted help. Once Communism was entrenched, it was nearly impossible to get rid of. A Communist Vietnam would seek to dominate the region. There was no evidence that U.S. involvement would draw in China or Russia. Events in Asia did matter to American interests. And, finally, there was no value in negotiating with Communists. All in all, the essay concluded, the critics of the war had no ground on which to stand.
The magazine would later change its perspective. In recent conversations about the war, former TIME Saigon bureau chief Peter Ross Range said that he sensed a shift after the Tet Offensive in 1968. “We were all news reporters, but I think there was a shared attitude, a widely shared attitude especially among younger correspondents like me, that the war was not a good thing,” he said. “It was never discussed openly at the magazine but if you read the magazine over time, over the last year before I went, you would get very much the same feeling.”
Years later, after the end of the Cold War, another TIME essay revisited the idea, positing that though the Cold War may have been the right war, Vietnam was the wrong battle—and, the piece concluded, the consequences of that wrong decision would continue to be felt for many years to come.
Read the full 1965 essay, here in the TIME Vault: The Right War at the Right Time
The United States Involvement In The War In Vietnam Essay examples
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The United States Involvement In The War In Vietnam
There were many reasons why the US became increasingly involved in the Vietnam War, and when all linked together they explain why. In this essay I will explain all aspects of why the US got involved and then I will summarise all the points at the end.
Since the 1880’s, France had controlled an area of eastern Asia called Indo-China, which consisted of Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 1940, France was at war with Germany and was losing disastrously. This meant that Vietnam was left vulnerable as France was given funding by America to protect Vietnam. Japan, who were Germany’s allies, then took over. They established control over Vietnam with a…show more content…
It stated that
· The USA was not going to allow any more countries to turn communist.
· The USA was going to ‘contain’ the expansion of communism.
The Truman Doctrine was a political attack on communism made by the American President. He wanted to stop the spread of communism and its influence on the other countries, and needed allies for this cause.
The policy of containment was stopping communism from spreading from one country to the surrounding area.
As it turned out, 1949 was a bad year for the US in the Cold War; to top it all off, the USSR exploded an atomic bomb in the Pacific Ocean. The US became scared that they were no longer the only country with nuclear power and therefore could be under threat of a nuclear attack.
The Korean War affected the situation too. North Korea was communist and South Korea was capitalist. North Korea invaded South Korea and the Americans were scared that Vietnam would be the next target of communism. So they helped South Korea in the war, by giving money and aid.
When communist China began to support the Vietminh and Ho Chi Minh into making Vietnam communist, the USA put $500 million a year into the French war attempt against the Chinese and to try to gain control in Vietnam. The United States also helped the French to set up a non-communist government in the south of